Know Your Rights When Dealing With Denied Boarding

Know your rights when denied to board your flight. Understand the laws and your rights to compensation for denied boarding due to overbooking.

It’s a sad fact of air travel: sometimes you get bumped from a flight. Overbooking occurs when airlines assume that some passengers won’t show up for their flight, thus creating more room and allowing the carrier to make more money from ticket sales. Unfortunately, this means that passengers can end up out of luck when their seat is taken by someone else.

This is known as “involuntary denied boarding,” but the phrase doesn’t tell you what to do if it happens to you. Knowing your rights in the event of denied boarding due to overbooking can help steer you through what could be an unpleasant experience and get you the compensation that you are entitled to according to EU regulations.

That’s why we at ClaimFlights have put together this article outlining what you need to know in order to deal with involuntarily denied boarding as well as how ClaimFlights can assist you in getting compensated for lost time or inconvenience due to overbooking.

What Is Involuntary Denied Boarding?

Involuntary Denied Boarding (IDB) is what happens when an airline doesn’t have enough seats for all the passengers who are booked on a given flight. It can be stressful, especially if you’re not familiar with your rights as a passenger.

IDB can happen for a few different reasons: the airline may overbook the flight; there might not be enough seats on the plane to accommodate those who’ve checked in; or it may be necessary to remove someone from the flight in order to comply with safety regulations.

The good news is that, regardless of why it happened, if you’re denied boarding involuntarily, there are certain protections in place that require airlines to provide compensation for your inconvenience. This could include reimbursement for meals and/or lodging or even a voucher or cash refund of your ticket purchase price.

Your Rights When Facing Involuntary Denied Boarding

Being bumped off a plane due to overbooking can be a major inconvenience. But it’s important to remember that you have rights when dealing with involuntary denied boarding:

  • As a passenger, you are entitled to cash compensation or travel vouchers of up to four times the price of the ticket for those affected.
  • You may also be eligible for additional compensation if your flight is rerouted and delayed significantly, so be sure to ask about any available options.
  • Airlines must provide food and drinks while you wait in the airport, as well as accommodation if required.
  • When dealing with involuntary denied boarding, make sure that you receive confirmation of any changes made (such as new flight times or alternative routes) in writing. This way, if there is any discrepancy, later on, you will have evidence of what was agreed upon.

These are just some of your rights when it comes to being bumped due to overbooking – so make sure that you know your rights before traveling!

How to Avoid Involuntary Denied Boarding

If you’ve ever been denied boarding due to an overbooked flight, you know how frustrating it can be. The good news is, there are steps you can take to avoid this hassle in the future.

Pre-Book Your Seat

Most airlines allow passengers to pre-book specific seats on the plane. This ensures that if there is a need to overbook a flight due to too many passengers being booked, it will be those without pre-booked seats are asked to disembark first. Opting for pre-booked seats reduces your chances of being denied boarding and saves you from having to negotiate with airline staff while standing in the airport terminal.

Get There Early

Airline staff is likely to review those who checked in late when it comes time for involuntary denied boarding processes. Make sure to arrive early so that you have more chance of keeping your seat if there ends up being too many passengers for the chosen flight.

Read Your Airline’s Overbooking Policy

Each airline has different rules when it comes to involuntary denied boarding, so make sure you read their policies before you travel. Knowing what procedure they abide by and what rights passengers have with regard to overbooking can help protect you from any future denied boarding or unpleasant negotiating situations at the airport check-in desk.

Claim Flight Compensation After Involuntary Denied Boarding

Okay, so you know your rights when it comes to involuntary denied boarding. But what can you do? Are you eligible for some kind of compensation?

The short answer is—yes! If your flight was overbooked and you got involuntarily denied boarding, then you may be eligible to claim flight compensation. According to the EU 261 rule, passengers who experienced this kind of inconvenience can receive up to €600 per person in benefits as compensation. But there are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. You must have checked in within the required timeframe prior to the original departure time of the flight.
  2. You must provide the airline with valid contact information for any required notification about your eligibility for flight compensation.
  3. You must provide proof that your travel plans were interrupted due to involuntary denied boarding from overbooking.

So if you suffered from an involuntary denied boarding due to overbooking, it’s important that you understand what rights and entitlements you have to claim flight compensation. ClaimFlights can help make sure that happens: on our platform, we work with a team of experts who understand all aspects of EU 261 passenger rights and regulations, so that you can get the most out of your claim quickly and easily!

Airlines’ Obligations According to EU 261 Rule

When it comes to involuntary denied boarding, did you know there are certain obligations airlines must adhere to? According to the EU 261 Rule, airlines must offer you certain benefits if you’re affected by overbooking.

These benefits may include:

  • Reimbursement or re-routing: This means that if you are involuntarily denied boarding, the airline must provide an alternate flight to your destination, or reimburse the full ticket value.
  • Refreshments: Airlines must provide meals and refreshments while you wait for a replacement flight.
  • Hotel accommodation: If the delay is overnight and there is no available flight until the following day, airlines must provide hotel accommodation. And of course, they need to cover transport between the airport and hotel.
  • Compensation: If a passenger is unable to board a flight due to overbooking or cancelation of their flight within the airline’s control, they may be eligible for up to €600 in compensation from the airline.

Having these rights can help ensure that travelers are informed and able to claim for any inconvenience caused by overbooking or delays of flights due to oversells by the airlines!

Tips to Get the Best Outcome From Flight Refusal

It’s important to know your rights when dealing with involuntary denied boarding, otherwise, you could get less than what you deserve or have a hard time claiming the flight compensation you are entitled to.

Here are some tips to help you get the best outcome:

Document everything

Note down the time and date of your flight refusal and make sure to get a copy of the EU261 form that should be filled out by the airline. Your documentation is essential to prepare a strong case and make sure all your rights as a denied boarder are in order.

Know who to contact

If efforts to talk with airline customer service representatives don’t go anywhere, make sure to contact a local civil aviation authority office. This will make it easier for them to investigate any potential violations by the airline, which in turn can increase your chances of getting adequate compensation for what happened.

Find additional support

When dealing with denied boarding, it pays off to have somebody knowledgeable on your side. A lot of times when it comes to air travel compensations, travelers are at a disadvantage because they’re unaware of their rights and can be unable to provide enough evidence due to their lack of understanding of the situation. A professional service like Claim Flights can help not just through a reliable process providing complete support throughout but also by having an in-depth knowledge of aviation law that could prove invaluable against airlines.

Was your flight delayed? You may be eligible for compensation

Has your flight been delayed for more than 3 hours or even canceled? Don't worry, you may be eligible for compensation up to 600€ under the EU Regulation 261/2004.

Check if You're Eligible

We offer "No Win - No Fee" Services, so claiming is Risk-Free!

Which is the best company to claim flight delay compensation?

ClaimFlights is the best flight delay claim company when it comes to the payout after their 25% service fee. Through ClaimFlights, you could get 75% of the receivable compensation.

The following table gives you a direct comparison of flight delay compensation claim companies.

Your payout* (as Flight Delay Compensation)

For less than 1500 km For 1501 to 3500 km For more than 3500 km
ClaimFlights 187.50 € 300 € 450 €
Flightright 125.75 € 201.20 € 301.80 €
AirHelp 125 € 200 € 300 €
ClaimCompass 125 € 200 € 300 €
SkyRefund 125 € 200 € 300 €

* Source: Price comparison of flight delay claim companies, as of 27th May 2021.


Involuntary denied boarding affects thousands of passengers every year. Knowing your rights can help you get the compensation you deserve if it happens to you. The EU 261/2004 rule sets out the duties of airlines when an overbooking situation occurs, and provides the legal framework for how a passenger should be treated in these circumstances.

ClaimFlights is an experienced provider of flight compensation services which can help those impacted by denied boarding get the compensation they are owed. With ClaimFlights, you can get the legal assistance and guidance you need to claim the compensation you deserve for the inconvenience and distress caused by an involuntary denied boarding. So, don’t lose out and get the compensation you deserve.

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Was your flight delayed? You may be eligible for compensation

Has your flight been delayed for more than 3 hours or even canceled? Don't worry, you may be eligible for compensation up to 600€ under the EU Regulation 261/2004.

Check if You're Eligible

We offer "No Win - No Fee" Services, so claiming is Risk-Free!

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